According to the AMSN, “Med surg nurses care for adult patients who are acutely ill with a wide variety of medical problems and diseases or are recovering from surgery.”
They excel in hospital settings because of their highly diverse skill set, which involves the ability to:
- Assess patient condition
- Administer medications
- Apply and change dressings
- Monitor vital signs
- Keep records
- Provide patients and patient families with support and education
Med surg nursing can suit many types of nurses because every specialty utilizes them. Additionally, med surg nurses who seek an active lifestyle can excel in this specialty as travel nurses.
For these reasons and much more, medical-surgical nursing is highly popular.
Our Best Med Surg Nursing Tips
To excel as a med surg nurse in any setting, you’ll need to be an incredible medical nurse, period.
In addition to your medical/academic skill set, you will also need a series of practical professional skills.
We recommend focusing on these three foundational skills:
- Staying organized
- Be a skilled multitasker
- Maintain a calm, caring demeanor
Let’s look at each one individually.
1. Staying Organized
Planning, documenting, reporting and analyzing are a huge part of a med surg nurse’s workload.
Patients receive treatment from multiple medical professionals throughout their hospital stay, and it is the med surg nurse’s job to keep the entirety of the patient’s care team in the loop – even while caring for multiple patients at a time.
2. Be a Skilled Multitasker
In addition to the many, many responsibilities that go along with caring for multiple patients, med surg nurses also spend their shifts working on things like:
- Educating families on a variety of topics about their loved ones
- Handling admittance and discharge paperwork
- Ordering medication
- …and so much more.
It is no surprise that in addition to the responsibilities at work, med surg nurses must also complete ongoing certifications and continuing education.
A vast knowledge of body systems, diseases, and disease states is a must. Therefore, spending time researching and reading the latest medical journals is another duty to include while multitasking.
3. Maintain a Calm, Caring Demeanor
Of all the med surg nursing tips you’ll find, this one may be the most relevant.
It takes consistent practice to master the ability to remain calm, especially in the high-stress situations RNs encounter.
This ongoing practice includes a variety of de-stress techniques: like breathing exercises, making time for yourself (recharging), and utilizing the support of your co-workers.
Why You’ll Love Med Surg Nursing
We’ve gathered the top four reasons nurses love this profession.
1. Significant Patient Variety
As a med surg nurse, the variety of patients you care for can range from COPD to Diverticulitis to Cirrhosis—all in one shift! They encounter every type of case you can imagine, and they list variety as the number one reason they love their specialty.
This allows them to constantly gain new experience and stay on their toes!
2. Professional Experience and Growth
Many nurses love the patient variety, but the experience that comes with it is a close second when it comes to why they love their job.
Having to think swiftly and act quickly provides incredible experience.
3. A Focus On Organizational Skills
A focus on organizational skills is a must for successful med surg nurses, as they must be highly detailed to serve their patients effectively.
Organization, detail, and time management are all so important!
4. Practicing Quick Thinking Skills
Last but not least, many in the med surg nursing world mention that they love being able to practice quick thinking skills.
Things like patient analysis/assessment, prioritization, and swift intervention become reflexive for med surg nurses.
Med Surg Gives You All the Experience You Need
If you would like to learn a lot in an amazing career, med surg nursing may be for you. If you are potentially interested in this profession, contact us to learn how you can get started.